Law professor fights for restroom equality
GW law professor John Banzhaf has prompted venues across the country to enlarge women’s restrooms, arguing that longer lines for women is gender discrimination.
Starlight Theater, a venue in Kansas City, announced that in a few weeks, they will undergo a $4.5 million remodeling project. Much of their construction efforts will be focused on tripling the size of their women’s restrooms.
Banzhaf, known as the “father of potty parity,” has been arguing this issue for about 15 years, saying that women “have to wait much, much longer in line at most venues.” Banzhaf, a GW professor since 1968, has also successfully sued fast food and tobacco companies.
“It is a serious problem for many women,” Banzhaf said in an interview Wednesday. “More serious than I think many men realize.”
Banzhaf said the problem arises because “traditionally we have made men’s and women’s bathrooms the same size.”
He contended that allotting the same space for men’s and women’s restrooms does not ensure equality, since urinals occupy less space than toilets. He added that women traditionally require more time in the restroom, citing a higher likelihood for women to take small children with them and wear restrictive clothing that takes longer to undress. Men, in comparison, often leave the restroom “zipping up their flies,” he said.
Some states have adopted “potty parity codes” for new venues and those under construction in an attempt to create equal-length lines, Banzhaf said. Although he said legislation has been “slow in coming,” some of the codes require a two-to-one ratio for restrooms in new facilities.
Volleyball club to hold games next week
Students can join in on a game of volleyball with the GW Volleyball Club at the Health and Wellness Center. Open play sessions are free, co-ed and will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays on the fourth floor.
English department announces fall reading series
GW’s English department will again sponsor a fall reading series that will bring published writers to campus.
The ten readings in the Jenny McKean Moore and Local Writers Initiative Writing Series will begin Sept. 23 and continue through Dec. 2. Visiting writers include novelists, poets, children’s book authors and playwrights. The readings are free and open to the public.
The Jenny McKean Moore Fund for Writers finances the Jenny McKean Moore series and has partnered with GW since 1976 to bring the authors to campus. The organization also sponsors free community creative writing classes.
Writers in the Local Writers Initiative will also visit creative writing classes on campus.
Elliot school hires new faculty
The Elliott School of International Affairs added four professors for the academic year.
The new faculty are:
-Edward Gnehm, former U.S. ambassador to Australia and Kuwait
-Henry Farrell, who will teach courses in game theory and politics of the Internet
-Taras Kuzio, former resident fellow at the Center for Russian and East European studies
-Gina Lambright, who previously taught at the University of Indiana and Michigan State University